Sixth Form enjoy Chinese experience

The cohort of Sixth Form pupils learning Chinese have just returned from a fantastic two-week trip to China. We were hosted in week one by School no.8 in Beijing and by representatives of the World Leading Schools Association, who looked after us with great care, enthusiasm and generosity.

Mornings sampling lessons were followed by afternoon excursions to the great sights of the city – the Summer Palace, the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, the giant pandas in the zoo. In the evenings, host families offered the pupils an authentic insight into family life, not least around the dinner table; sea cucumber and chicken feet were particular favourites.

Week two saw us explore further afield: the extraordinary landscape of Xingping and Guilin, where the Li river snakes between looming Karst landforms; the breathtaking terraced rice paddies of Longji; the high-rise dynamism of 21st century urban life in Guangzhou; the technicolour market in Yangzhou, where we steered clear of the butchery section and bought the vegetable ingredients to throw in our wok at the neighbouring cookery school.

It was a fabulous journey of cultural discovery and linguistic stimulation, which the pupils entered into with energy and openness. They made friends wherever they went, and it will surely have given their language studies a great shot in the arm. To Qingwei Li, who masterminded the whole adventure, a huge vote of thanks from all involved.

Tom Kiggell
Modern Languages Department

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